Tehran, Jan 12 (IANS): Iran's judiciary has announced that a death sentence was handed down to a former Iranian Defence Ministry official on the charge of espionage against the country.
The former Deputy Defence Minister, identified by the Iranian Intelligence Ministry as Alireza Akbari, was charged with "espionage on behalf of Britain," "corruption on earth" -- a term used by Iranian authorities to refer to a range of offences, including those related to violating Islamic codes -- and "acting against the country's internal and external security through the transfer of information" abroad, the Mizan news agency of the Iranian judiciary reported on Wednesday.
In a statement published on its website on Wednesday, the Iranian Intelligence Ministry said Akbari had penetrated the country's sensitive strategic centres, collected important data, and sent them to the UK's Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), also known as MI6, completely knowingly and in a targeted manner, Xinhua news agency reported.
The statement said Akbari, who had been fully employed by the SIS during his personal trips to Europe, was identified and arrested after lengthy and multilayered processes.
It described Akbari as one of "the most important" agents of SIS, owing to his important position and access to sensitive data.